Bright lights, bad hygiene and no limit on alcohol: What it’s really like in the iconic Big Brother house
Big Brother is finally set to make its return to screens on Sunday, five years after it was taken off air.
The upcoming series – the first to air on ITV2 – will be the twentieth iteration of the show since it first debuted in 2000.
Big Brother: The Launch will see a new cast of carefully selected housemates, from all walks of life, become the first people to take up residence in the brand-new Big Brother house.
But former contestants have warned that it can be a tough living environment – from bright lights and early wake up calls to bad hygiene.
Here’s what MailOnline discovered about living in the Big Brother house…
Housemates do the cleaning (and after a while it gets pretty disgusting!)
Throwback: Big Brother is finally set to make its return to screens on Sunday five years after it was taken off air
Dirty: Contestants have previously came to blows over mess in the house and failing to clear up after themselves
Contestants have previously came to blows over mess in the house and failing to clear up after themselves.
During his time on the show, which was then on Channel 5, Mark Byron said cleaning levels in the house could get out of hand.
He added: ‘They let you do your bed sheets and stuff once a week but you’d clean them more than that.
‘You clean up everything yourself and they’ll have people come in and tidy up the tasks but yeah, after a while it’s disgusting.’
Charlotte Keys, who entered the house in 2017, agrees with Mark and previously told The Sun: ‘Everyone is really unhygienic – it’s so dirty. Half of them were really clean the other half very much, no.
‘It’s stupid, petty s*** like not cleaning up their plates, leaving their mugs around, not flushing the toilet.’
‘And there is the floor in the toilet – I could never walk around there in bare feet.’
The lights are super bright
Wake-up: According to former contestant Liz Jones, the housemates will wish they’d packed their sunglasses to shield their eyes from the super bright lights
Furious: One contestant who would agree with Liz is Nikki Grahame, who became known for throwing tantrums over harmless situations such as having to get out of bed
According to former contestant Liz Jones, the housemates will wish they’d packed their sunglasses to shield their eyes from the super bright lights.
She explained they would be woken up by the lights and loud noises in the middle of the night.
Liz said: ‘Sometimes it was horrendous: being woken at 3am by bright lights and klaxons; stupid tasks in costume.
‘Amid all that and the otherwise monotonous routine, I began to forget I was on a TV set, and I started to get to know my housemates.’
One contestant who would agree with Liz is Nikki Grahame, who became known for throwing tantrums over harmless situations such as having to get out of bed.
She was seen screaming and shouting on several different occasions when the bright lights and sirens came on in the morning.
Alcohol rule: Big Brother bosses plan to encourage housemates to let their hair down by relaxing booze rules, which has caused many memorable moments in the house through out the series (Kate Lawler pictured)
Fun: The amenities the housemates get, like an outdoor pool table and shared exercise equipment, encourage them to gather and interact
Coming soon! Big Brother fans were recently given their first look at the brand new house ahead of the reality show’s return on Sunday
Eco-friendly: Unlike previous years, this year’s house has put sustainability at the forefront, with an outdoor water tank collecting rainwater that will fill the jacuzzi
Cosy! A replica of the legendary eye logo will act as an outdoor seating area
Here it is: The new and improved Big Brother house is ready and waiting for the new crop of housemates to move in
Big Brother bosses plan to encourage housemates to let their hair down by relaxing booze rules, which has caused many memorable moments in the house through out the series.
Fellow ITV2 reality show Love Island limits its contestants to two drinks per evening, which was put in place to help their wellbeing.
Speaking about Big Brother, a source said: ‘The booze used to flow in Big Brother, but obviously times have changed a lot since it was last on air.
‘There are certainly going to be going to be stricter welfare measures in place than in previous iterations, but bosses are confident they won’t have to stick to the same rules as Love Islanders have to.
‘There will be a much broader age range of the contestants, and less focus on them getting romantic with one another, so as long as their welfare is looked after they should be able to have a few boozy parties without any issues.’
An ITV source said: ‘Alcohol protocol is still being finalised, and will be closely monitored.’
Contestant Kate Lawler told The Guardian: ‘It’s hard to remember what the house was actually like – first because it was 18 years ago, but also because we drank so much alcohol while we were in there.
‘The producers genuinely did not limit how much alcohol we were drinking, which looking back is kind of irresponsible, but at the time it wasn’t seen that way. They just plied us with alcohol and watched what happened.’
Contestants have previously revealed they are encouraged to interact with each other, rather than spending time along.
They don’t tend to receive pens to write with or books to read as that would encourage independent activities.
Instead, the amenities they get, like an outdoor pool table and shared exercise equipment, encourage them to gather and interact.
The Diary Room is bigger than expected
Legendary: This is arguably the most iconic room in the house where Big Brother calls people in for private and emotional chats
First look: Big Brother is set to return to screens on Sunday and construction is currently underway at the iconic house
Important: Sustainability has been the core focus for this brand new house, with rainwater being used to fill the jacuzzi
Here it is! Ahead of the long-awaited launch, fans also get a glimpse of the house’s entrance being constructed, including a replica of the iconic Eye logo
This is arguably the most iconic room in the house where Big Brother calls people in for private and emotional chats.
The room looks tiny when we watch the show, but housemates have said it’s actually a fairly big space.
A brand new version of the famous Big Brother house is being constructed at a studio lot in London, and the first pictures of the property have finally been revealed.
Aerial shots of the sprawling property show that many of the famous aspects of the house -including the hot tub and diary room – have returned for the hotly-anticipated reboot.
Big Brother: The Launch is on ITV1, STV, ITV2 and ITVX on Sunday 8th October from 9pm.
Big Brother 2023: Duty of care protocols in full
Housemates must undergo a social media blackout, take part in ‘respect and inclusion training’ and will have access to one-on-one mental health support sessions before, during and after the show.
The respect and inclusion training will set out expectations around use of language and acceptable behaviour in the House.
Before filming all Housemates have undergone psychological and medical assessments including assessments by an independent doctor, mental health professionals and information reports from each Housemate’s GP.
Housemates were also required to disclose in confidence any medical history or other information that would be relevant to their participation in Big Brother.
In addition their family and friends will be asked not to post any content on their individual social accounts for the duration of their time in the House in a social media blackout.
ITV also said that the Housemates have received information about the experience of taking part in Big Brother including the possible positive and negative implications.
The contestants also undergo a series of background checks including checks of their social media by an independent specialised service.
The show’s welfare team and other members of the editorial and production team received training in Mental Health First Aid and ‘respect and inclusion’.
ITV say the team have set out Big Brother’s expectation for appropriate behaviour and language.
Housemates are also provided with and talked through the Housemate rules which set out expectations and explain key aspects of life in the Big Brother House.
Whilst in the House mental health professionals are available to Housemates for ongoing support throughout their time in the House.
The Big Brother welfare team also support friends and family with regular contact and updates.
After leaving the Big Brother House bespoke training on dealing with social media and press will be given.
A mandatory session with mental health professional immediately after a Housemate leaves the House will also be provided.
Further support sessions will be provided specific to a Housemate’s individual needs and support will remain in place until the mental health professional(s) have agreed an end date for each individual Housemate.
Ongoing contact by the head of welfare will continue for a period of 14 months after the series has ended, and additional help where needed will also be on offer.
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